The text of my bug against "registered categories".

Paul Elliott pelliott at
Sat Aug 6 17:40:25 PDT 2011

On Saturday, August 06, 2011 12:07:59 PM you wrote:
> On Fri, 2011-08-05 at 17:30 -0500, Paul Elliott wrote:
> > it is easy for any off the top of one's head to think of important
> > areas of software that is just not covered by the main categories,
> > AudioVideo, Audio, Video, Development, Education, Game, Graphics,
> > Network, Office, Settings, System, or Utility .
> The goal is not to provide an ontology that is complete. If there is no
> open source ship navigation software then no category is needed.
> Instead of mentioning (e.g. in bug 39785) that if specific software were
> to be available for an open source desktop it would be misclassified, my
> guess is that if you can name, say, a dozen widely-used open source
> packages that would fit best into a proposed new category you'll get
> more traction.
> Implementations are free to support additional categories. The document
> [1] only gives categories that every conforming desktop environment must
> (in the IETF sense of must) support.

Currently major distos are requiring that .desktop files to be compatible with 
registered categories.

Perhaps each distro should dream up its own incompatible extension to 
registered categories.

Just as each packager is now required to dream up his own misclassification 
which may be incompatible with the misclassification of some other developer.

Someday all these misclassifications will have to be fixed causing 
administrative problems. It could all be fixed now, if someone would make some 
effort now.

Nobody expects freedesktop to come up with the perfect system. Perfection in 
any classifications scheme is probably impossible as all such systems depend on 
arbitrary human judgments. But I fail to understand why an obviously broken 
system that no one on freedesktop will come forward and defend is enshrined 
like it was the Mona Lisa.

Its not like we were talking about a 100,000 line program or even a 100 line 
program. This is a few lines in a freaken text file!

This is why I ask the question what is really going on here? Don't tell me the 
UFO space aliens are at it again. -:) Probably the real explanation is garden 
variety bureaucratic incompetence. Everyone should read Heinline on the 
subject of committees!

Paul Elliott                               1(512)837-1096
pelliott at               PMB 181, 11900 Metric Blvd Suite J   Austin TX 78758-3117
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